Innovate NOW! Summit to Focus on Illinois' Future; U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, Regional Leaders to Address Better Ways to Compete Globally

Oct 12, 2006, 01:00 ET from Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

    CHICAGO, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A major regional initiative of
 business, academic and government leaders to make the area more innovative
 will be launched October 24 with the Innovate NOW! Chicagoland Innovation
     Regional leaders in the multi-state commerce center surrounding Chicago
 and national business figures will gather at the Illinois Institute of
 Technology in Chicago to discuss and collaborate on the topic of
     In addition, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman is a featured
 speaker during the morning session. John Callaway, senior editor and host
 of WTTW's Chicago Stories and Friday Night and founding host of Chicago
 Tonight, will serve as special host and moderator.
     The Chicagoland Innovation Summit, "Innovate NOW! -- Taking Charge of
 Our Future," kicks off a long-term relationship and collaboration of
 leaders who are interested in advancing the growth of not only specific
 business sectors, but the entire region.
     "Innovation is the key to ensure we all thrive in the current global
 economy," said Jerry Roper, President and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of
 Commerce, which has spearheaded the conference. "It is our responsibility
 as leaders to set the agenda of how we can become more innovative in all
 aspects of our businesses to guarantee the region's future prosperity."
     According to a study by the Washington, D.C-based Council on
 Competitiveness, regions that use innovation as the foundation for an
 economic development strategy, are more successful and experience higher
 economic performance than others.
     More than 30 sponsors have already endorsed and will participate in
 this first annual innovation event, including such major companies as IBM,
 Microsoft, Crain's Chicago Business, American Airlines, The Boeing Company,
 CDW, Charter One Bank, Mesirow Financial, Motorola, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.,
 Wal- Mart and Strategic Hotels & Resorts.
     The event's keynote speaker will be Carl Schramm, Ph.D., President and
 CEO, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Foundation, which supports
 entrepreneurship and innovation, is the 26th largest in the U.S. with an
 asset base of $2 billion.
     Other speakers include:
     -- John Edwardson, Chairman and CEO, CDW
     -- Ian Foster, Ph.D., Director of the Computation Institute at Argonne
        National Laboratory
     -- Laurence Geller, President and CEO, Strategic Hotels & Resorts
     -- Lawrence J. Keeley, President, Doblin Inc.
     -- Robert McIlvaine, President, The Royal Group
     -- James O'Connor, Jr., Vice President of Technology Incubation and
        Commercialization, Motorola
     -- Robert Rosner, Ph.D., Director, Argonne National Laboratory
     -- James Tyree, Chairman and CEO, Mesirow Financial
     -- Thomas J. Wilson, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Allstate
     -- Deborah Wince-Smith, Council on Competitiveness
     -- Robert Zimmer, Ph.D., President, University of Chicago
     Industry leaders from seven business sectors will also lead discussion
 groups on the topics of transportation/logistics, bio-sciences,
 hospitality/tourism, financial services, manufacturing, communications and
 software/computer services.
     The summit is open to all business, academic and government leaders.
 Registration is $225. Registration and more information can be found at or by calling the Chamber Event Hotline
 at 312-494-6709.
     An initial area of focus for the innovation initiative will be
     The summit is sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, World
 Business Chicago and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
 Opportunity in partnership with the Council on Competitiveness.

SOURCE Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce